Dubai - Gael Monfils continued his charmed run at the Dubai Championships on
Thursday after battling into the semi-finals with a 6-1, 6-7 (3/7), 6-2
win over qualifier Ricardas Berankis.
The Frenchman, who came into the tournament in good form after
beating Stan Wawrinka in Rotterdam this month to win his eighth career
title, will face one of Hubert Hurkacz and Stefanos Tsitsipas in
Friday's semi-final after the unexpectedly tight win.
Unseeded Monfils, 32, revealed that he needed to get angry with
himself to get over the line after missing chances to close out a
straight-sets victory when a set up and leading the second 5-4.
"It was tough mentally, I was upset that I didn't finish it (then). I
had to get angry to find the energy to come back," he said after coming
from a break down to storm the final set.
"I was playing flat, I knew I had to do something.
"My opponent was very brave, he went for his shots, came to the net and made it difficult."
Monfils' performance dipped drastically after ripping through the
opening set in 23 minutes, losing the second and re-discovering his game
only just in time to claim the victory.
In the end it took nearly two hours for the world number 23 to beat
Berankis, ranked 113 in the world and playing his first quarter-final
Roger Federer continues his chase for his 100th career title later on Thursday when he takes on Hungarian Marton Fucsovics.
Results from the ATP Dubai Championships on Thursday (x indicates seeding):
Gael Monfils (FRA) bt Ricardas Berankis (LTU) 6-1, 6-7 (3/7), 6-2